2018 Retrospective

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Joined Mar 19, 2016

OP

January 3 2019, 9:57pm, edited January 17 2019, 10:58am

Recently I was talking with a RA fellow (#FreeThoreau) and he said something like:
"If someone asked me 'what changed on RA last year' I would say 'bah... almost anything'. But after I saw one of your posts I realized that many good things really happened"

That gave me the motivation to gather more detailed informations about all the cool stuff we did on the RetroAchievements scene in 2018. Let's try to list them in this post.

Link: kdecks compiled some info about the sets published/revised in 2018. Check it here: https://retroachievements.org/viewtopic.php?t=8099

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RAWeb, the https://retroachievements.org website
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- Scott opened the source code of the website (and sometime later our main webmaster luchaos joined the staff team)

- we moved to a new and more stable/reliable server! No more connection problems in the weekends! Huge thanks to luchaos, Scott and all the patrons!

- Ability to report broken achievements through the website. GameDragon

- showing the achievement's authors in the game pages. meleu and luchaos.

- ability to show all games a developer has worked on. meleu

- ability to filter users in the user list grouping them by their roles and also showing their "Last Login" timestamp. meleu and luchaos

- ability to list all tickets assigned to a specific developer. meleu and luchaos

- show the number of open tickets assigned to a dev on their profile page. meleu

- a bunch of improvements on the ticket manager, including the ability to show the list of the most reported games. meleu and luchaos

- the developer stats now shows the number of open tickets assigned to the developer (and some other info). meleu

- ability to unlink a single hash from a game entry (yeah, before that the devs needed to unlink all entries and then readd the desired ones one by one). meleu

- regular users can see the hashes linked to a game entry and also have a link to the list of all open tickets for a game. meleu

- Developers have the ability to list Unofficial achievements directly on the website. meleu

- not awarding points when earning Unofficial Achievements. meleu

- fixed many outstanding forum bugs. luchaos, Celeryyy and meleu

- fixed the achievements sorting options in the game's page. meleu

- fixed the bug where invalid chars in the achievement's title/description caused the whole achievement set to be unplayable. meleu

- a "pseudo" audit log for achievement changes, posting a comment in the achievement's page when an it is edited (yeah! it's an ugly workaround, but it helps to avoid "ninja changes". The definitive solution will come soon™️.). meleu

- better management of the official game's forum topic link on the game's page. Thanks to meleu and Shikamaru91.

- the Achievement's "Mem explained" now shows a table that looks very similar to what we see in the Achievement Editor, facilitating the visualization of logic and detection of problems in the achievement's code. Thanks to stt and meleu

- user's Site Rank percentage ignoring users with zero points. meleu

- post in the feed when someone open/close a ticket. meleu


Uh... I feel like I should give more credits to luchaos here... He did the foundation work that allowed me to do all those things credited to me above. A huge thank you bro!

Oh, I should also mention that in this year we had an episode where a malicious user abused a vulnerability on the (almost never used and now dead) "Merge Game" feature and deleted ALL game entries of our database. In a few minutes luchaos solved the problem, recovered data from a backup and only a small portion of our user base even noticed the issue (most likely only those who hang around on our discord server). Kudos also to all patrons! You guys help us to pay for the periodic backups! ❤️


═════════════════════════
RADocs/RAWiki, the documentation
═════════════════════════

The https://docs.retroachievements.org started to gain a reasonably good shape in the beginning of 2018 and now it is a solid resource of information about Achievement Creation and many other useful info for our users.

Thanks to contributions of meleu, luchaos, GameDragon, kdecks, Celeryyy, Jamiras, MagusPC, Thoreau, jplima and maybe many others that I'm not remembering at the moment (if you think you should be mentioned, please, comment in this thread and I'll update this post accordingly)

A good part of the docs were translated to portuguese, thanks to the effort of MODM007, KingDice and muskn (please, let me know if I'm missing someone else).

A few doc pages were also translated to spanish, thanks to ShinyNinetales (please, let me know if I'm missing someone else).


Also:

- Developers Code of Conduct, which lists, amongst many other important things, the unwelcome achievement concepts. Thanks to Flara, ikki5, kdecks, BenGhazi, MagusPC, Salsa, meleu, Blazekickn, Scott and some others that I'm not remembering at the moment.

- A more clear process describing how to become an achievement developer. Before that doc the process to get the developer status was based on subjective and personal judgement of an admin individually. Now this process is much more objective and transparent. And also based on the feedback of other experienced devs, in a process structured by kdecks.

- Global Leaderboard and Achievement Hunting Rules. Special thanks to Xeinok and the other 100pals friends. Thanks also to meleu, Thoreau, Jamiras, kdecks, Scott with many inputs from community members (on a really 🍿 heated 🔥 discussion, by the way).

- clear description of how achievement set revisions work. kdecks based on many feedback from the developer's community.


════════════════
RAEmus/RAIntegration
════════════════

- The old RASuite repository was splitted in two: RAEmus and RAIntegration. A more organized way to work on RAIntegration improvements. meleu and Jamiras.

RAEmus
══════
- create save states in hardcore (only save, not load!). Jamiras

- numerous features disabled in hardcore mode (to prevent cheating). Jamiras

- RAMeka and RAProject64 officially in RAEmus repository and available for download on the website. Jamiras and luchaos

RAIntegration
══════════
(I took the liberty to put a ❤️ on my favorite ones)

- AddSource, SubSource and AddHits features available for all systems (previously it was available only for N64). GameDragon

- ❤️ Memory Inspector bookmark dialog. GameDragon

- ❤️ Memory Inspector history Search results history. GameDragon

- ❤️ pause on trigger/pause on reset. Jamiras

- ❤️ Achievements are no longer processed for the first 100 frames after loading a ROM (eliminates achievements triggering on-load of a game due to uninitialized memory). GameDragon

- Conditional rich presence display strings. Jamiras

- ❤️ Support for HitCounts on ResetIf/PauseIf conditions. Jamiras

- ❤️ Cancel leaderboards when switching between hardcore and softcore. Jamiras

- Full syntax support for leaderboards (AND/OR/RESETIF/PAUSEIF). Jamiras

- ❤️ Code note tooltips in achievement editor (put the mouse cursor above an address and see it). Jamiras

- ❤️ Remember "Prefer Decimal" setting between sessions. Jamiras

- Official comment syntax for Rich Presence. Jamiras

- Allow specifying a default value for Rich Presence lookups. Jamiras

- Switching from hardcore to softcore no longer resets the emulator. Jamiras

- Several memory improvements - should be using significantly less memory. Jamiras

- Reduced flicker in overlay and memory inspector (particularly in RALibRetro). Jamiras

- Fix issue with non-ASCII characters in code notes. Jamiras

- Fix issue limiting 32-bit comparisons to 31-bit numbers. Jamiras

- Support for C++11/14, using safer alternatives to older functions. It can be an almost imperceptible thing for final users, but it's a bunch of nerdy stuff that make the RAIntegration less likely to crash. Kudos to SyrianBallaS

- ❤️ using rcheevos to process achievements and leaderboards. This is a huge and important step toward greater compatibility between RetroAchievements and RetroArch, as well as avoiding the double work of having to code for RAIntegration and RetroArch separately. Massive thanks to leiradel and Jamiras.


═══════
RetroArch
═══════

- Added an option to automatically generate a screenshot when the user earn an achievement. meleu finished a code started by Celeryyy.

- Fixed the crash when listing Unofficial Achievements. meleu with some support from Celeryyy

- No need to store the password on the config file as a plain text (using the token for authenticated transactions). Celeryyy

(- we didn't integrated rcheevos in RetroArch yet (some issues in the Android port) but we are almost there. Kudos to leiradel and Jamiras)

- In the end of 2017 we got two really cool improvements on the RetroArch/RetroAchievements front that I would like to mention here too:
--- Leaderboard support (yeah! do you remember? RetroArch didn't have the Leaderboards feature!). Celeryyy
--- Badge images in the Achievement List. GameDragon with some support from Radius4


═════════════════════════
RALibretro, new supported systems
═════════════════════════

We all owe a huuuuuuuge thank you to leiradel, first of all because he's the guy who started the implementation of RetroAchievements feature on RetroArch back in 2015. And this year his hardwork on RALibretro allowed us to develop achievements for many new systems, such as:
- Atari Lynx
- Atari 2600
- Atari 7800 - with contributions from salvadorc17
- Neo Geo Pocket [Color]
- Arcade (Neo Geo, CPS1/2/3) - massive thanks to barbudreadmon (fbalpha core maintainer); and also some contributions from salvadorc17
- Sega Game Gear
- Virtual Boy
- Famicom Disk System - thanks to Euclide


═════════════
Community Events
═════════════

- Achievement of the Week, hosted by Dexterspet and then ikki5 and Flara. The enthusiasm of the AotW maintainers makes the event increase its popularity and the participation. It's really cool and makes clear that the community is alive!

- Achievement of the Week 2018 - Halloween Event (Events) Achievement of the Week 2018 - Halloween Event (Events) , hosted by ikki5 and Flara

- Achievement of the Week 2018 - Christmas Event (Events) Achievement of the Week 2018 - Christmas Event (Events) , hosted by ikki5 and Flara

- The Devember🍂2018 (Events) Devember🍂2018 (Events) was an incredible success! The participants resolved something around 650 tickets! Event hosted by kdecks, but I want to also mention all those guys who joined the event: Hotscrock, BenGhazi, Keltron3030, televandalist, SporyTike, Salsa, JAM, Thoreau, Blazekickn, theztret00, Grenade44, DrPixel, ColonD, Tutumos, Zaphnath, Rimsala, SirVG, Jamiras, deividokop, MGNS8M, ikki5.

- Leaderboard of the Month, hosted by kdecks, then FitzG and then BenGhazi

- Leap Frog, hosted by Boldewin

- Mastery of the Month, hosted by Zaphnath

- On our discord server: Guess the game sound commuinty events by Dexterspet, Slyshock.


══════════
Discord Server
══════════

- More admins, mods and staff members, caring for the project and participating on the decisions (see more about them and their tasks below).

- A smart bot: RABot

- many jr-devs coming and learning to develop achievements by reading the docs, sharing knowledge and getting their work reviewed by the "code reviewers".

- emoji gauntlet. Structured by kdecks and managed by DrPixel.


════════
Staff deeds
════════

- RAdmin account was created to let the community reach all admins at once, rather than picking them individually. kdecks, Salsa and meleu

- We handled more than 50 cases of cheating.

- Manually sorted, identified and labeled 5388 unique roms (hashes) and documented each in the top post of the forum caricatur

- Thousands of bad roms were unlinked and labels fixed. kdecks, GameDragon, caricatur and televandalist

- A whole lot of trainer/cheated ROMs linked to a single entry (avoiding them to be linked to valid game entries). meleu based on data provided by Celeryyy


═══════════════════════════
Staff members and their common tasks
═══════════════════════════

In alphabetical order:

BenGhazi: Discord moderator, runs Leaderboard of the Month.

caricatur: updates game's forum posts with ROMs checksum info.

Dexterspet: Admin and adviser.

DrPixel: Discord moderator and Discord's emoji-gauntlet manager.

Flara: New Admin, Discord moderator and Achievement of the Week maintainer.

GameDragon: RAIntegration/RAEmus developer, former admin (we all hope he'll be able to be back soon).

Hotscrock: Developer Compliance manager: He's helping developers to follow the Developer's Code of Conduct.

ikki5: Discord moderator and Achievement of the Week maintainer.

jackolantern: Adviser, former admin.

Jamiras: Admin, and main RAIntegration developer.

kdecks: Admin, Discord moderator, community manager.

Keltron3030: Lead code reviewer - helping users to become jr. devs and helping them qualify to become full developers

KingDice: posts Discord Achievement News

leiradel: RALibretro developer/mainteiner. Work he's done was noted earlier in this document.

LordShin: Discord moderator, and new achievements site news manager

luchaos: New admin and webmaster. Currently working on the version 2.0 of the website.

matheus2653: Adviser, former admin.

meleu: Admin, Discord moderator, Discord bot developer, site developer, RADocs maintainer, community manager.

Salsa: Dev queen 👑, Admin, Discord moderator, adviser.

Scott: Creator and owner of the https://retroachievements.org. Admin, webmaster, maintains the site. Father of two and most of the time is very busy being busy.

StingX2: Adviser, former admin.

televandalist: Entry database manager. Sorting out the database, hiding and renaming bad and false entries, among other things.

Moderator

Joined Apr 11, 2015

January 3 2019, 10:59pm, edited January 3 2019, 11:01pm

Wow, that's quite the list oO fantastic work everybody!
Thank you for writing all of it down and the kind words ❤️ It's easy to forget what can be done in a full year.
Let's make 2019 the year where at the end the next version of ra.org may be on the list :)

Joined Dec 17, 2016

January 3 2019, 11:06pm, edited January 3 2019, 11:07pm

2018 was a incredible year for the retroachievement community.

I hope 2019 become even a great year for the community!

Developer

Joined May 30, 2018

January 3 2019, 11:11pm

Holy cow, thank you all you guys. I can't believe all this was done just in 2018. New users, including myself would assume we had all these features for years!

Joined Jan 1, 2019

January 3 2019, 11:26pm, edited January 3 2019, 11:27pm

very cool, thx a lot guys!

Joined Sep 6, 2017

January 3 2019, 11:30pm

I cannot believe how fortunate I am to have waited until recently to start developing achievements. I feel like I have used practically every feature you mentioned, and I can't imagine creating a set without many of them. I now have a much greater respect for developers from years past.

Joined Jan 14, 2018

January 3 2019, 11:31pm

Seven systems in 2018. That's gotta be a new record

Joined Feb 23, 2017

January 3 2019, 11:40pm

And Famicom Disk System support :-)

Joined Mar 19, 2016

OP

January 3 2019, 11:50pm, edited January 3 2019, 11:51pm

Euclide, yeah! I've updated the RALibretro part mentioning the FDS, thanks ;)

Joined Dec 5, 2018

January 4 2019, 12:04am

I've only been a member here for a month and have been amazed by this community. I'm glad I've finally found it and get to be a part of this. Hopefully someday I can learn how to make achievements to help contribute to the project. Thanks to all the devs for your hard work and looking forward to see what 2019 brings!

Joined Aug 1, 2018

January 4 2019, 12:10am, edited January 4 2019, 12:10am

You guys really rocks, thanks for everyone who spend your time to make these great contribuitions to retroachievements website. I hope this could be inspired anyone to make this community even better.

Joined Sep 10, 2015

January 4 2019, 5:18am

I love seeing the regular progress towards improving the site, and I hadn't realized so much had actually happened in just the last year. Thanks for keeping it all going, everybody~

(Also, holy crap, the entirety of RA got removed? I definitely didn't notice.)

Joined Sep 4, 2017

January 4 2019, 11:13pm

Nice work! Keep it up for 2019!

RA rules!

Joined Mar 19, 2016

OP

January 5 2019, 12:31am, edited January 5 2019, 7:45pm

kdecks gathered more things done last year and I updated the OP accordingly.

Posting here only the stuff added:

RADocs
- clear description of how achievement set revisions work. kdecks based on many feedback from the developer's community.

Discord server
- emoji gauntlet. Structured by kdecks and managed by DrPixel.


════════
Staff deeds
════════

- RAdmin account was created to let the community reach all admins at once, rather than picking them individually. kdecks, Salsa and meleu

- We handled more than 50 cases of cheating.

- Manually sorted, identified and labeled 5388 unique roms (hashes) and documented each in the top post of the forum caricatur

- Thousands of bad roms were unlinked and labels fixed. kdecks, GameDragon, caricatur and televandalist

- A whole lot of trainer/cheated ROMs linked to a single entry (avoiding them to be linked to valid game entries). meleu based on data provided by Celeryyy


═══════════════════════════
Staff members and their common tasks
═══════════════════════════

In alphabetical order:

BenGhazi: Discord moderator, runs Leaderboard of the Month.

caricatur: updates game's forum posts with ROMs checksum info.

Dexterspet: Admin and adviser.

DrPixel: Discord moderator and Discord's emoji-gauntlet manager.

Flara: New Admin, Discord moderator and Achievement of the Week maintainer.

GameDragon: RAIntegration/RAEmus developer, former admin (we all hope he'll be able to be back soon).

Hotscrock: Developer Compliance manager: He's helping developers to follow the Developer's Code of Conduct.

ikki5: Discord moderator and Achievement of the Week maintainer.

jackolantern: Adviser, former admin.

Jamiras: Admin, and main RAIntegration developer.

kdecks: Admin, Discord moderator, community manager.

Keltron3030: Lead code reviewer - helping users to become jr. devs and helping them qualify to become full developers

KingDice: posts Discord Achievement News

leiradel: RALibretro developer/mainteiner. Work he's done was noted earlier in this document.

LordShin: Discord moderator, and new achievements site news manager

luchaos: New admin and webmaster. Currently working on the version 2.0 of the website.

meleu: Admin, Discord moderator, Discord bot developer, site developer, community manager.

Salsa: Dev queen 👑, Admin, Discord moderator, adviser.

Scott: Creator and owner of the https://retroachievements.org. Admin, webmaster, maintains the site. Father of two and most of the time is very busy being busy.

StingX2: Adviser, former admin.

televandalist: Entry database manager. Sorting out the database, hiding and renaming bad and false entries, among other things.

Joined Mar 19, 2016

OP

January 5 2019, 12:32am

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